HEARST NEWSPAPERS: EU concerned with Iran

Bernard Kaplan, of the Hearst Newspapers chain, writes an opinion piece today about Iran's relations with Western Europe and Russia. All 15 EU-member countries have withdrawn diplomats from Iran after a German court ruled last week that Tehran had ordered killings within Germany.

But Kaplan writes: "Whatever their official gestures, Europe's political body language has already made it clear that the Iranians can continue - literally- to get away with murder as long as they keep on beefing up the profits of European companies with hefty contracts." Kaplan says German won't implement an economic embargo against Tehran because Bonn is worried that France might step into the gap. Kaplan concludes: "Past experience ought to have taught the Germans and other Europeans that nothing is ever gained by ttempting to placate the extremist Islamic regime in Tehran.... But standing up to the Iranians would mean abandoning any chance in the foreseeable future of those juicy export deals."